Moe funding fight raised in parliament

THE fight to retain funding for Moe’s rail precinct revitalisation project was raised in State Parliament last week.

State Member for Eastern Victoria Matt Viney continued his attack on the Federal Coalition over its inability to confirm absolutely the delivery of $7.5 million to the long-awaited project, if it were to be elected to government next month.

In recent weeks Federal Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent has vowed to “do everything” he can to secure the money, though it was announced by the Federal Government and funding agreements had not been finalised prior to the government entering pre-election caretaker mode.

Mr Broadbent has said he was “100 per cent behind” the Moe project and had “no doubt” it would proceed whatever the election outcome.

He said though funding formalities should have been concluded prior to caretaker mode, if it turned out they had not “I will be doing everything I can to facilitate the signing of any contracts that are outstanding”.

Despite those assurances Mr Viney told State Parliament Mr Broadbent had “refused to commit to honouring the funding” for the project.

“All Mr Broadbent has to do for this project to proceed is to commit to honouring those funds that are in the budget, not to use what I would call weasel words – that he would fight for it,” he said.

“The fight has been had by the community and has been won.

“The community has collected the signatures of 10,000 people and has had 1500 people at public meetings calling for this project.

“It was funded initially by the last state Labor government to the tune of $3 million…and it has proceeded.

“It is unfortunate that if an Abbott government were to be elected, and this project – which has started – were not funded, it would mean that the central activities district of Moe would remain unfinished in its current condition.”

Mr Broadbent has distanced himself from the comments of an internal Liberal Party source who told The Express he “seriously doubted” the funding would go ahead in the absence of finalised funding agreements.

The MP said it “most disappointing to hear” such doubts had been raised and that nobody had ever raised with him the possibility of a Coalition Government “refusing to honour the funding”.